New Wichita gym focuses on addiction recovery

Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 6:22 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A new gym has opened its doors in downtown Wichita.

The Phoenix Wichita is located at the southeast corner of First Street and Washington, near Old Town.

Membership to the gym is free, but you must be 48 hours sober or clean.

“Being right here in the heart of downtown, I just know we’re going to fill this place with people that will have this different belief in themselves when coming in here. Ultimately to stay sober,” said Scott Strode, founder of the national non-profit, The Phoenix.

Strode was recognized as a 2012 CNN Hero for his efforts in creating a non-profit that helps people in recovery from substance use disorder.

“My personal story is what led me to this. I got into recovery myself over 24 years ago in Boston. Some folks scooped me up and got me into a boxing gym and taught me about boxing. I then tried a triathlon, then tried climbing,” said Strode. “I didn’t know it at the time but every time I climbed a mountain or crossed the finish line, I healed some self-esteem wounds, a little bit, from my addiction. And, I became a little bit more a climber than an addict or an alcoholic.”

In the last 13 years, The Phoenix has served 38,000 people.

In the last four years, their expansion continued with the help of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists in the Stand Together organization.

The Phoenix is now serving 50 communities, including Wichita.

“We’re losing far too many of our loved ones to drug and alcohol use. When you add prescription drugs and illicit drugs and alcohol, we lose someone every four minutes to addiction. So, we just know it’s so important to answer the call and be there for folks if they’re asking for help. The fact that people brought us to Wichita, so we could do that here in the community is really powerful,” said Strode.

This sober and active community provides programs that include yoga and group workout.

For more information about local programming in Wichita, click here.

To learn more about The Phoenix, click here.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter said 72-percent of the 1,610 inmates at Sedgwick County Jail reported an addiction issue. And, 32-percent reported a mental health issue.

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